Monday, February 15, 2016

Following Your Passion, Even When You Don't Receive Support

Hello, my lovelies. Boy, does it ever feel like a Monday. Thankfully, this particular Monday is a holiday. It's also release day for my latest work, Abandoned.

My name is Tierra Owens, and I like to kiss. A lot. It numbs the hollow ache in my chest
and—for a few minutes—makes me forget how truly alone I am. My mother is an alcoholic. She hates me and insists I'm the reason she's not married to my father, whom I have never met. My best friend, Kaylee, is the only person who knows the real me. Everyone else sees what I want them to: a happy, confident, popular girl who has the world at her feet.

I am a fraud.

Relationships are forbidden. I avoid them at all costs. Sex? Emotions? Those things make a person vulnerable, and vulnerability always leads to heartbreak. When my childhood crush, Mattie shows up at school my world tumbles off its axis. The shell I surround myself with feels more like a pathetic crutch than a protective barrier, and I find myself wanting things. Daydreaming about what it would be like to have a boyfriend, a relationship—love.

The sad fact is: I'll never have any of those things. I am unworthy—trash. Which is why my mom abandoned me.

Now that I've got the requisite pimping of my work out of the way, I thought I'd touch base on something that's been weighing on my heart for a while: Following your passion, even when you don't receive support.

I consider myself a lucky woman. I've been able to fulfill my life's dream of writing a book and seeing it published. That's huge thing. Something to celebrate. And yet, amidst all the joy and celebration of such a monumental event, for some of us, there's also a hidden undercurrent of pain. Sadness, because there's someone in our lives who doesn't share our excitement and passion for what we do. Someone who may love us dearly, but they don't necessarily "believe" in what we're doing, or think it's a waste of time, energy, or expenses.

To my fellow author brothers and sisters out there who have a non-supporter in their life: this one's for you!

I've been writing since I was a child. I've got a big mouth, and usually have some sort of story to tell. I like to make shit up, and consider myself lucky that God graced me with the ability to throw words together in a way I can tell a tale. I've gotta tell you: there's something so wonderfully fulfilling about writing a book. Something so damn freaking magical about creating something out of nothing, and having that something be able to hold reader's attention for however many hours it takes them to read the book. The feeling is amazing. It's a high I will never get used to, and one I don't ever want to take for granted.

That said, there are some of us who, unfortunately, have to ride that high with the heavy weight that someone they're close to doesn't get it. They don't understand, and probably never will. They think your day job is respectable, and the fluff you write at night, or on your day off is just a frivolous hobby you shouldn't waste your time with. They think the steamy scenes you write (if you write adult romance) are embarrassing and something to be kept under wraps. Then, there are those who think it's cool their loved one writes books, but they sure don't want them to spend any time, money, or effort on selling those books they spent months grueling over. Especially, when, like me, that person is a relatively new author who hasn't made a name for themselves.

So, what should passionate authors like us say to those loving naysayers of ours?

Bye, Felicia!

Just kidding! No, we don't want to cut our non-supporters out of our lives. But neither do we need to let them dampen our spirit, or crush our passion. Any author, no… Any writer will tell you: they can't not write. They can't turn off the switch and squash the need or want for their books to do well. It doesn't matter if your previous three books tanked and your new release might too. You have to give it your all. You have to spend the time and money it takes to do right by your book baby. It doesn't matter that there's a huge party that you've been invited to and everyone and their brother will be there. You're working on a deadline and your characters won't flipping shut up until you finish telling their story.

Love your non-supporters. But don't listen to them when they try to steal your light and crush your passion for writing. Keep on keeping on, my friends because there's a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us. Great things come to those who work hard and persevere.

And that, my friend, is exactly what I intend to do. Persevere <3

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